Khaalidah Miller scored 17 points in the loss.
Dec. 28, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. --- No. 6 Georgia rallied from an 18-point first-half deficit and tied Illinois twice in the second period before falling to the Illini 70-59 at Assembly Hall on Friday night. The loss was the Lady Bulldogs' first of the season, snapping a 12-game winning streak that equaled the fifth-best start in program history.
Jasmine James and Khaalidah Miller scored 17 points apiece to lead Georgia (12-1), while Jasmine Hassell added 13. Karisma Penn poured in 27 points and hauled down 19 rebounds to pace Illinois (7-5).
Georgia, which entered the game averaging 13.2 turnovers per game, gave the ball away 26 times, 16 of those in the first half.
"They forced us to play fast," Andy Landers said. "They extended us and picked us up beyond the three-point line, and we allowed them to affect us. Now we're running the offense further out on the floor than we have all year long. We sailed balls out of bounds when people were open. We were looking at looks we wanted, but we couldn't make the passes because they'd pushed us so far out."
Back-to-back threes from Amber Moore ignited a 12-1 Illinois run that put the Illini up 24-12 with 9:54 left in the first half. The lead grew to 31-13 before Georgia rallied.
Miller scored seven in a 13-2 Lady Bulldog surge that closed the gap to 33-26 with just over a minute remaining in the first half.
Georgia eventually tied the contest at 52-52 on a James free throw with 7:09 remaining in the game. Penn and Shacobia Barbee free throws left the score tied at 53-53 with 6:27 left.
A pair of Penn three-point plays - the second of which fouled out Hassell with 4:36 left - helped Illinois reestablish a 61-57 lead. The Illini scored five more unanswered to put the contest out of reach.
The largest deficit Georgia faced prior to the Illinois contest was a five-point gap early against Furman. All told, the Lady Bulldogs never trailed in seven games of the first dozen games and their largest deficits in the five outings they were behind in added up to 16 points.
The Lady Bulldogs will return to Stegeman Coliseum next Thursday to host Missouri in the Tigers' first-ever Southeastern Conference game. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. The first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive Stegeman Coliseum 50th anniversary commemorative pennants.
Single-game reserved seat tickets for Lady Bulldog home games are $5 for adults and $3 for children. Both season and single-game tickets are available via georgiadogs.com, by calling the UGA Ticket Office at 877-542-1621 or the Stegeman Coliseum box office (closest to Sanford Drive) beginning 60 minutes before tip-off.
UGA students, faculty and staff are admitted to all Lady Bulldog games free of charge with a valid UGA Card. Faculty and staff should pick up tickets at the Coliseum box office. Students are admitted to the arena via the entrance to the left of the box office by showing their UGA Card.'